27 October 2008

Universal Tools for Global Learning

essentially the PowerPoint from my presentation at the PacRim Conference at Illinois State University yesterday...

Ubiquitous Systems, Global Education, Universal Design

I begin with what I view as the essential purposes of these new technologies:
Technologies which Disrupt…
Understandings of what “school” means.
Concepts of Ability and Disability. Not not Disability - Inability.
Systems of “Authority.” Boundaries and Borders.
Definitions of Nations and Cultures.
Roles of teachers and students.

and what those tools might do:
Universal Tools for Education
Universal ICT Tools
Shifting Control.
Enabling different paths.
Enabling different “winners.”
Expanding the universe of educational “winners.”

These tools are selected because they are:
Community-Based – Community Cognition grown from the largest, most diverse possible “community.”
Support Fluid Roles – for all participants.
Create Unfinished Artifacts – continually under development, never viewed as “finished.”
and are developed via a system of Common Property, Individual Merit – shared knowledge, new definitions of status and intellectual authority.

"They ‘occupy a hybrid, user-and-producer position which can be described usefully as that of a produser’ which can be seen to be characterised by the following: Community-Based – produsage proceeds from the assumption that the community as a whole, if sufficiently large and varied, can contribute more than a closed team of producers, however qualified they may be. Fluid Roles – produsers participate as is appropriate to their personal skills, interests, and knowledges; this changes as the produsage project proceeds. Unfinished Artefacts – content artefacts in produsage projects are continually under development, and therefore always unfinished; their development follows evolutionary, iterative, palimpsestic paths. Common Property, Individual Merit – contributors permit (non-commercial) community use, adaptation, and further development of their intellectual property, and are rewarded by the status capital they gain through this process. (Bruns, 2007, p. 4)" Kress, G & Pachler, N. Thinking about the ‘m’ in m-learning (2007)

These are:
Free Technologies – Using commercially based services for our own needs.
Ubiquitous Technologies – using multi-purpose commercial and/or open source systems that are already widely in use.
Collaborative Technologies – systems which allow non-hierarchical “student” relationships.
Multi-Modal Technologies – which allow for multiple representations.
Lifespan Technologies – learning technological paradigms that will support learning and communication outside of “school.”

and they operate in specific ways:
An open definition of literacy and “reading” and “writing” – “web 2.0” means students should be allowed access via whatever system works best for themselves.
Flexible Communication – multi-modal structures that allow varying participants to participate various ways.
Options – Synchronous/Asynchronous – systems which allow communication across time zones and cultures.

"In the emergent literacy view, aspects of language — both oral and written — develop concurrently rather than sequentially (Goodman, 1986). According to this view, literacy learning does not happen only in formal classroom settings, but also in informal settings, in both oral and written modes, and in collaboration and interaction with others. " Ryokai, K, Vaucelle C, and Cassell, J. Virtual peers as partners in storytelling and literacy learning

"Alternatively, novel computational paradigms, such as pervasive and ubiquitous computing, may create new possibilities for interactivity, enabling designers and technologists to create novel hybrid artefacts and environments, which combine digital and physical properties in novel ways. Consequently, this may allow new forms of learning to emerge." Hall, T and Bannon, L. Designing ubiquitous computing to enhance children's learning in museums

Google Docs
Google Calendar
Firefox plus Add-Ons
Social Networks

Cool Additions
VoiceThread (non-synchronous multi-modal conversations)
Webspiration (online visual organizer)
Ghotit (the best spellcheck system)

On-Line Text-To-Speech

Phone Speech-To-Text

Phone Text-To-Speech

Phone Text Conversion (Mobile Phone Camera)

Simple, Free Windows Text-To-Speech

Free Microsoft Office Text-To-Speech

Microsoft Reader (still a powerful, free tool)
http://www.microsoft.com/reader/downloads/pc.asp (laptop/desktop PC)
http://www.microsoft.com/reader/downloads/tablet.asp (tablet PC, with "write notes in the margins!")
http://www.microsoft.com/reader/developers/downloads/tts.asp (Text-To-Speech)
http://www.microsoft.com/reader/developers/downloads/rmr.asp (RMR, creates one-click conversions from Microsoft Word)
http://www.microsoft.com/reader/downloads/dictionaries.asp (Dictionaries)

Books for your Mobile

Audio Software for Book Creation

CLiCk-Speak for Firefox (of course)

Mobile Web Site Builders

Mobile Web Educational Tools
PollEverywhere (throw those clickers away and get true interactivity)

There is, of course, much, much, much more to say, but I only had 20 minutes.

- Ira Socol


Anonymous said...

this is off topic, but i wanted to hear your take on the sudden prominence of 'special needs children' in this election. hillary was talking specifically about autism. then mccain was. and now palin has broadened it beyond autism to special needs. what's going on here? have political operatives done some research and found out the the inclusion community is well-organized, passionate, and just ripe for the vote picking?

v/vmary said...

if someone has major problems with spelling, shouldn't they just skip ghottit altogether and just use speech to text? besides jott,com, is there free stuff for speech to text online?

irasocol said...

Ghotit has some good "post speech-to-text" uses as well, because it catches wrong words on context, but, have you tried Dial2Do?

v/vmary said...

i just checked out the dial2do site. first of all, they have a video explanantion of how to use the site, so i already know they are way ahead right there. but i'm looking for speech to text for elementary and secondary students. is using the phone the way to go in the schools? the secondary kids mostly have cell phones already on them. can these phone speech to text systems handle long recordings? what speech to text system do you use for this site? ps weila is also vera.

v/vmary said...

i just tried dial2do. so easy!! i was speaking fast and still 95% was accurate. but it only lasted for about 85 words. i know it wasn't designed to do lengthy reports or stories, but it's free, easy, and maybe we could just keep hanging up, reviewing what was said, and calling again? what i like about this free stuff is that i don't have to ask the tech people at my school to unblock anything.